First and foremost, you need to find a boot that’s going to be comfortable. It can have all the protection in the world, but if it’s not something you can see yourself wearing for extended periods of time, then there’s no point in continuing. That’s where the difficulties with buying footwear online come into play: you’re at the mercy of user reviews.
You’ll also want rust-resistant hardware that won’t tarnish, degrade or diminish with use and time. You’re aiming for a mostly waterproof pair of boots here, so the hardware has to be able to hold up. Laces will come and go, but an added bonus is also having a system that’s easy to place the laces on.
Traction is a major factor here. If you’re slipping around in your work boots, then you’ve gone with the wrong pair. Traction is achieved from proper pressure and weight distribution inside the boot, as well as a unique groove pattern on the base of the boot heel. You’re going to run into predominantly rubber outsoles, and that’s okay, but just make sure that other users are wearing these in slightly inclimate weather.
If you’re looking for the best work boots that you can start wearing right away, please keep in mind for the break in period.
In order for work boots to serve their purpose, they need to be durable and tough. And regrettably this can result in some boots taking several months to really feel comfortable.